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Wyndham Championship Preview and Picks
by Matt Fargo - 08/17/2010
The 2010 PGA Majors season is complete following an exciting and controversial ending to the PGA Championship. We were disappointed on this end as we had Dustin Johnson to win but his two-stroke penalty on the 72nd hole cost him a chance to advance to the playoff which was eventually won by Martin Kaymer which was his first Major championship. We now have one more stop before the PGA Tour Playoffs begin.
This week the tour heads to Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina for the Wyndham Championship. As mentioned, this is the final event for the FedEx Cup run making this the last shot to earn points. Sedgefield is night and day compared to Whistling Straits as it is shorter and has roughly 950 fewer bunkers. The most important aspect this week is hitting fairways so while GIR is important, the first shot is the key.
Following the final Major of the season and with the playoffs on deck, the field is light on star quality but it will be made up for in drama as players vie for the top 125 spots in FedEx points to advance. Last year, five players who were on the outside looking in had good enough finishes at the Wyndham to vault them into the playoffs. Any player will move into the top 80 with a win and any player ranked between 126th and 142nd will qualify with a top-10 finish.
Last year, Ryan Moore (+2500) took home his first PGA title by way of a playoff over Kevin Stadler and Jason Bohn. Moore comes into this year’s tournament with only one missed cut since the start of June and he has four top tens under his belt. He is coming off a disappointing T65 last week but this is a Donald Ross design, the same architect of Aronimink where he finished solo second at the AT&T National.
Also a favorite this week is Carl Pettersson (+2500) and for good reason. He was the winner here in 2008 and he has been playing really well in the later part of 2010. He won the RBC Canadian Open which came two events after a solo sixth at the AT&T. He finished T24 at Whistling Straits but this course suits his game much better as he is third in putting and fourth in birdies or better on far fours.
We might as well stick with the former champions as Brandt Snedeker (+3000) was the 2007 Wyndham champion. He also finished T5 here last year and that was when he was hit with the injury bug. He is having a quietly good year as he is 45th in FedEx points and has placed T16 or better in three of his last five events. One of those was the AT&T which as mentioned, has the same architect as Sedgefield.
Bill Haas (+4000) catches a very good number despite missing the cut in four of his last five events. We had Haas at the Travelers which was the start of the MC’s but he could do very well here once again. He has already won this year at the Bob Hope and after missing the cut at the Wyndham in 2008, he finished T10 in 2009. He ranks 41st in ball striking and 42nd in birdies.
Justin Leonard (+3000) has always been known as a short hitter but an accurate one and that will be big this week. He is ranked 109th in FedEx points and while likely safe, a big effort this week will not hurt. He has made the cut in five of his last six events and is ranked 13th in driving accuracy and third in approach shots between 100 and 125 yards. This is his first start at Sedgefield which is not ideal but not a big disadvantage either.
In the longshot category, we have to look at Brian Gay (+5000). He started the year playing some very solid golf with two top tens including a T2 at the Byron Nelson. He has since missed the cut in four of his last six events but one of those was a T16 at the AT&T, another Ross design. Most important though is that his stats fit well here as he is fourth in fairways and 16th in putting.
Recommended Tournament Win Six Pack at the Wyndham Championship – All for 1 Unit
Ryan Moore (+2500)
Carl Pettersson (+2500)
Brandt Snedeker (+3000)
Bill Haas (+4000)
Justin Leonard (+3000)
Brian Gay (+5000)